Atlanta based interior designer Danielle Rollins kicks off her Fall Harvest party by giving classic Old Fashioned cocktails a seasonal twist with blood oranges. Blood oranges come into season just in time for holiday gatherings. Rollins notes that preparing the glasses ahead of time with rough-cut, pure cane sugar cubes soaked with blood orange bitters allowed the bartender to add ice and fill each glass as needed from a big pitcher of premade mix with Bourbon. Each gets topped with a splash of lime-flavored sparkling water just before serving.
Blood Orange Old Fashioned Recipe (Makes 8)
- 16-24 brown sugar cubes (such as Sugar in the Raw)
- Blood orange bitters
- 16 ounces Bulleit Bourbon or other good quality artisanal bourbon
- 32 ounces freshly squeezed blood orange juice (available seasonally, or substitute orange juice)
- Thinly sliced blood orange wheels and/or thickly sliced zest of blood orange, for garnish
- Lime-flavored sparkling water
- 8 double old-fashioned glasses and ice cubes
- Put 2 or 3 brown sugar cubes in each double old-fashioned glass; soak with blood orange bitters and let dissolve. (Helpful hint: Doing this a couple of hours ahead of time allows the sugar to dissolve and saves time when making the drinks.)
- Fill a large pitcher with the Bourbon and blood orange juice. Stir to combine.
To serve individual drinks, fill a glass with ice. Pour blood orange-Bourbon mixture over the ice and top with a splash of sparkling water. Garnish with a blood orange wheel and/or blood orange zest.
Get more of Danielle Rollins’ Fall Harvest menu and recipes in her book, Soirée: Entertaining with Style (Rizzoli New York).